When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” (John 5:6, ESV)
The day was much like any other for the man. He positioned himself as best he could among the large number already gathered at the pool, but he still had little hope this would be “the day.” The day of his miracle. Then Jesus spoke to him—and suddenly it was unlike any other day of his life.
John 5 tells the familiar story of the infirm man at the Pool of Bethesda. Although we do not know the nature of his illness, he had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. Now he lay beside the pool, weak and sick, waiting for a miracle to change his life.
John describes the pool, located just north of the Temple area, as having five “porches,” a roofed colonnade that would provide shade for those gathered there. The pool was probably a mikvah, a place where those heading to the Temple would purify themselves before going to worship. But it was also a gathering place for those in need of healing. At certain times, an angel would stir the waters, and the first one to step into the pool would be healed. Because of his infirmities, the man in this passage of Scripture was never that first person. He was not strong enough or quick enough to make it on his own.
Jesus noticed the man and realized his condition was very longstanding. But the question He asked the man seems strange to me: “Do you want to be healed?” Why else would he lay there day after day? The man gave an indirect response to the question. He told Jesus why he had not been healed. He desired healing but felt it was just out of reach—beyond his ability to make it happen. The man did not know who Jesus was nor realize His Creator stood before him at that very moment.
Jesus instructed the man to “get up, take up your bed, and walk” (verse 8). Jesus asked the man to do the seemingly impossible, to take up his pallet—that symbol of his infirmity and weakness—and walk. Yet, strength flowed into him, and he did that very thing. He removed the reminder of his past infirmity, the pallet, and walked away from the pool. He did not leave it there “just in case” he might need it tomorrow. He was healed.
Many people today need healing. Like the man at the pool, they feel weak and unable to help themselves. Some need physical healing. Others suffer from addictions, traumatic relationships, emotional scars, or perhaps even a bitter or vengeful spirit. Perhaps you are one of those people waiting for a miracle yet not knowing if or how it will happen. Whatever the condition, how will you answer if Jesus asks, “Do you want to be healed?” Will you respond, “Yes, Lord”? Or will you hold onto the past and give reasons why you are too weak to receive healing. The decision is yours.
God is not asking us to face our situation alone. When we are weak, He is strong in our behalf. You may have struggled for days, months, or even years, but God is offering healing and wholeness.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (II Corinthians 12:9, ESV).
Will today be the day you receive your miracle? Jesus is waiting. Stand up, move. Do away with whatever is holding you back, that symbol of the past, and receive the wholeness He offers. This is a new season of life for you. Leave the past behind you, and move into that season.
Prayer: Lord, I look to You, the source of my strength, and accept the healing You are offering me. As I leave the past behind, I am healed and made whole by Your power working in my life.